After a lethargic performance Friday, the Boston Celtics had the rest of the weekend off in order to get energized for a road matchup against the Detroit Pistons on Monday.
The Celtics are at the top of the Eastern Conference standings and face the club at the bottom after both were defeated by the Phoenix Suns over the past few days.
Boston shot 38.7 percent from the field while losing at home to the Suns 106-94. The Celtics have been held under 100 points three times while losing four of their last six games.
The Celtics looked as if Friday’s game required less than a full effort, with the Suns still awaiting the return of Devin Booker from a groin injury.
Boston has played without guard Marcus Smart during their current uneven six-game stretch. The Celtics had a nine-game winning streak before Smart injured his ankle.
The Celtics’ Jayson Tatum, who is averaging 30.9 points, had one of his worst offensive performances of the season against the Suns. Tatum shot 3 of 15 from the field while scoring 20 points, with the total enhanced by his 11 made free throws.
Tatum had no trouble with efficient scoring during Boston’s first two games against Detroit this season. He had 31 points in a 128-112 win over the Pistons on Nov. 9 and 43 points in a 117-108 triumph on Nov. 12.
Detroit lost to Phoenix 116-100 on Saturday. The Pistons, who never led, trailed by double digits most of the second half after the Suns opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run.
The Pistons defeated Charlotte 118-112 the previous night. Detroit lacked the same verve on the second night of a back-to-back and Casey considered it inexcusable.
Saddiq Bey scored a combined 47 points over the weekend while coming off the bench, including seven made 3-pointers. Following a slow start, Bey has increased his scoring average to 15.0 points — third-best on the team among players who have appeared in at least 40 games.